I was overcome with inadequacy and insecurity. Deep rooted rejections had resurfaced and evolved into a battle I honestly had no clue how to fight. Every direction I turned I felt an attack so strong and so real. I kept looking for tangible battle wounds on my flesh. I was crippled by these emotions. The cursor on my computer screen blinked back at me as I stared at the blank page of an unwritten blog. Weeks passed as that page remained blank and the battle raged. Each time I typed a word I would hear, “you aren’t a writer. Quit trying to be.” I dry heaved in the toilet before Bible study one evening overcome by my fears of failure. “I’m not a teacher. I shouldn’t have signed up for this. Lord, send another. They won’t come back and it will be my fault.” My list of failures were piling up. Who was I? A terrible leader, a quitter and an inadequate failure. I wept after college Bible study one evening on my bathroom floor. I was certain God had a word but I ruined it. I rambled and it floundered. Last week, I flew into my favorite place, a place that wrecked my heart with the glory of God and transformed my life in powerful ways, eight years ago. I prayed that God would do something special in that place for His glory. God had given me a word and I was ready to open my mouth. However, right before I walked on stage I heard the enemy whisper, “why are you even here? The best bible teachers speak and teach here. You don’t belong.” Inadequate. Incapable. Failure. As I traveled to my next speaking engagement these thoughts plagued me and they even entered my dreams later that night.
I dreamt that I was speaking at a church and people surrounded me. Only these people were laughing and talking amongst themselves. Completely ignoring and mocking me. This dream included some of the most precious voices in my life. Men I look up too and respect. These were great godly leaders and they were rejecting me. I woke up sick to my stomach. God, what is happening? I curled up in the fetal position and prayed for God to work and move in me. After what felt like weeks, I came to God with no agenda, no desire to feel adequate or capable, and no words needed for Bible study or speaking engagements. I just needed my all sufficient Savior and His word for my wounded heart.
God moved in radical ways in my heart. Often, in my thoughts of rejection and inadequacy I am fueled by the compliments of the world that say, “you are capable. You are adequate.“ But as always, they leave me hungry for more and never outweigh the continual sense of failure and rejection. Today’s compliments never overpower tomorrow’s discouragements and rejections. Only a right image found in the righteousness of Christ will overpower those rejections. Also, I know the truth. I am inadequate. I am incapable. I can’t teach, speak, write or let’s be honest… function. I legitimately have nothing to offer. I. Have. Nothing. To. Offer.
Whew… this is a relief. How did I forget this? Christ reminded me that of course I am inadequate, I was once dead in my sins. The only life in me is Jesus. Adequacy is found only in the sufficiency of Christ. I am incapable and only capable through the power at work within me, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead! I am going to fail but Christ has saved me from this wretched woman that I am. You see friends, this is the best news ever. Hear me out, please. We are a society so focused on self empowerment and self sufficiency that I honestly missed the subtle ways it made its way into my life. I didn’t realize it until I was fully crippled by my own pride, backwards though it may be. When I sat at His feet in the most humble state I have been in a long time, God carried me to His table. Oh, why did I wait so long… why did I spend my money for that which is not bread, and labor for that which does not satisfy?” He spoke over me, to listen diligently to Him, and eat what is good and delight myself in rich food. To incline my ear, and come to Him; to hear, that my soul may live.” (Isaiah 55:2-3)
He fed me with His bread of life and nourished my crippled spirit with His living water. I was Mephibosheth crying out “what is your servant that you should show regard for such a dead dog as I?” Honestly, that truth still baffles me. I get a blood bought seat at the table of my Father, the King. Though I was crippled in selfish sin, the Savior carried me in His hands, the same hands still bearing the nail scars. I get to eat at His table not because I am capable, adequate or deserving of this feast but because of whom my Father is.
For that is my image. I am a daughter of the king, carried to His table by His grace, sitting in a seat I do not deserve, feeding off His bread of life and drinking from His living water. For I am confident that He who began a good work in me will carry it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6). Until then, I’m going to take my seat at His table while He does the work.